Saturday, December 8, 2007
VERMONT, HARVARD PLAY TO 2-2 DRAW
Sophomore Mike Spillane makes 35 saves for the Catamounts
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Sophomore Mike Spillane (Bow, N.H.) turned away a career-high 35 shots and sophomore Colin Vock (Plymouth, Mich.) scored the tying goal on the power play in the third period to lead Vermont to a 2-2 tie against No. 12 Harvard in front of the 65th straight sellout of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Saturday night. Vermont moved to 3-6-3 (3-3-2 HEA) on the season while Harvard is 6-3-2 (5-3-1 ECAC).
"Mike (Spillane) played fantastic tonight," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. "I'm very proud of him. He's been great everytime he's been called upon to start a game. Tonight I thought he was the difference."
Spillane, making his 11th career appearance and second start of the year, made 13 of his saves in the second. He stopped three Harvard shots in a 10-second flurry midway through the period, including a breakaway attempt by Paul Dufault.
Then with just over 3 minutes to go in the second, he stoned Matt McCollem at the doorstep bringing the Gutterson crowd to its feet.
"I felt really good," Spillane said. "I felt like I was seeing the puck really well. I just wanted to help be a calming influence back there for the guys."
After a scoreless first period, sophomore Brayden Irwin (Toronto, Ontario) scored his fourth goal of the season 2:05 into the second to give the Catamounts a 1-0 lead.
Junior assistant captain Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) setup the goal with a quick wrister from the left circle. Harvard sophomore Kyle Richter made the initial save but the rebound came to the 6-foot-5 Irwin in the slot, who used his long reach to slide the puck into the back of the net.
Sophomore Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) also picked up an assist on the play.
Harvard tied the game 1-1 when junior Nick Croskren scored on a rebound with 2:14 left in the period.
The Crimson took the lead on Crosken's second tally of the game 11:14 into the third period. During a delayed penalty against the Catamounts, sophomore Ian Tallet fired a shot from the left circle that deflected off Crosken and past Spillane to make it 2-1.
Vermont responded with Vock's power-play goal with 6:41 remaining. Vock was able to stuff in a rebound off a shot by junior co-captain Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario). Junior assistant captain Corey Carlson (Two Harbors, Minn.) also assisted on the equalizer.
"That was a total team effort tonight," Sneddon said. "We had a full bench of guys paying the price for each other. That's what we have to expect everytime we play. That's what I'm pushing for is consistency with that kind of effort."
Spillane made four more saves in overtime to preserve the tie.
It was the second straight year Spillane started against Harvard. He made 25 saves in a 2-1 overtime win at Bright Arena last season to earn his first career victory.
Richter, who entered the game first in the country in save percentage and third in goals against average, finished with 20 stops for the Crimson.
Vermont went 1-for-3 on the power play while Harvard finished 0-for-3.
Vermont continues a five-game home stand next Saturday at 7:05pm against St. Lawrence at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Fans can get their pictures taken with Santa and there will be a postgame giveaway from Coca-Cola.
NOTES: Tonight's game was televised on CN8 - The Comcast Network ... Kevin Sneddon won a national championship as a player for Harvard in 1989 and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team that year. Harvard head coach Ted Donato was a teammate of Sneddon's and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four that year ... Sneddon is 2-4-2 against his alma mater since being named the coach at UVM ... Viktor Stalberg had a team-high five shots ... Harvard was the 27th ranked opponent Vermont has faced since the start of last season ... The Catamounts are 0-0-3 in overtime this season.